What does it take to get yourself barred from returning to Lorne Michaels' sketch comedy show? Just ask these guys.
While we doubt that a physical “banned from SNL” list is sitting in a desk inside 30 Rock, there are some actors who are no longer welcome at Studio 8H. And we're not talking about the Michael Phelps and Paris Hiltons of the world here; some of these one-time-only hosts include respected actors, comedians, and even some former SNL castmembers. So, live from Maxim.com: It's five pieces of useless entertainment trivia!
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On May 10th, 2003, while introducing reggae artist Sean Paul, actor Adrien Brody took it upon himself to spice things up by donning dreadlocks and mumbling for 45 seconds in a terrible Jamaican accent. We know what you’re thinking: “How could a white actor making fun of Jamaican people on live TV go wrong?” Well for starters, he didn’t even get Sean Paul’s name correct, instead calling him "Sean John." On the plus side it didn’t start any race riots. So there’s that. Hope you have a high tolerance for cringe.
Photo: Everett Collection
Twenty years ago, while hosting SNL for the first time, actor and comedian Martin Lawrence decided to go off script during his monologue. Take a wild guess as to how that turned out for him (hint: see article title). It actually started out fine, as Lawrence delighted 1994 audiences with some real topical Lorena Bobbitt material. The trouble began when he decided to move the topic of conversation to women’s lady parts. Specifically, how bad they smell. It was at this point that the producers in the control room made this face. Needless to say, the bit included some rough language, to the point where producers had to black out the section for reruns and instead run this hilarious message. (Start at 4:45.)
Photo: Everett Collection
If one person deserves the title of “biggest jerk to host SNL,” we would choose Steven Seagal - and so has Lorne Michaels, repeatedly. Apparently, Seagal was unable to work with writers, was shitty to the crew, and - brace yourself for this last one - had terrible ideas. We tried to find clips of Seagal’s 1991 hosting debacle, but found it much easier to pull clips of former cast members venting about how terrible he was. The best tidbit is the fact that Seagal wouldn't come out of his dressing room because he was so offended by a sketch implying that Hans and Franz could beat him up. We assume he also broke through Julia Sweeney's dressing room wall to find out if Pat was really a man or a woman.
Photo: Universal / Everett Collection
You may know actor Charles Grodin as the dad from Beethoven. What you may not know is that he was also the dad in Beethovens 2nd. So clearly Grodin was already a serious actor before his hosting gig on SNL in 1977, and was respected by everyone. But then he proceeded to skip rehearsals, ad-lib lines (big no-no), and break character (bigger no-no). The show’s amazing cold open even references the casts disdain for the host’s behavior.
Photo: NBC / Everett Collection
These days Chevy Chase is known as the actor from Community who is notoriously hard to work with. Well, little known show biz secret: Before Community, he was still hard to work with. Chase, an original SNL cast member, returned to the show as host eight times between 1976 and 1997, at which point Lorne seemingly decided that he'd had enough of Chevy's bullshit, thus making him the first and only former cast member to be banned from hosting. He has since made occasional appearances on the show, including a brief cameo as recently as 2013 for Justin Timberlake's induction into the five-timers club. Horror stories from his hosting stints include his suggestion that one female writer gave him a handjob, and pitching a sketch about an openly gay cast member having AIDS. Sweet guy.